My own manger scene includes the 3 Wise men but that is not Biblical. The Wise men did not appear in Bethlehem for about 2 years after Jesus was born. They began their journey when the Star appeared at the time of Jesus’ birth. It would have taken them 1-2 years to study the star, see it’s movements and then decide to follow it from the east, probably Babylon or Persia. Having said that, I still have the Wise men with my manger scene as they came to worship the Christ child, the one who was born King of the Jews.
Our story opens with their arrival at the court of King Herod in Jerusalem. “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” Matthew 2:1-8
King Herod was crafty and wanted to know when and where the child was born. That way if the Magi or Wise men failed to locate this new ‘King’ he could find him and do away with him. Herod was famous for being ruthless and had already killed his wife and several sons to keep his throne. He was lavish and extravagant in character and did not want anyone else to share the glory of his throne.
The Wise men or Magi were seekers. They were willing to go out in search of truth and came to Jerusalem, the capital of Judaism. They were Gentiles and reasoned who would know better when their king was to be born. Herod’s wise men studied scripture and knew of the prophesy given 700 years before by the prophet Micah about where the Messiah was to be born. (Micah 5:2) Seeking answers the Wise men came because they knew the God of the Universe reveals himself through His creation. The star had meaning and would lead them to an important discovery.
What do you know about God? Do you seek Him like the Wise men did? Jesus said, “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Luke 11:9-10 The Wise men did not know exactly who or what they would find but trusted the Star to lead them. Trust in Jesus and He will lead you to God the Father and eternal life with Him. Hebrews 11:6 puts our seeking this way, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Seek Him today, He will be found.
Seeking Jesus brings great reward,